Trainer Vijay Singh receiving The C.N. Wadia Gold Cup (Grade 2) from Ms Maureen Wadia
Washington Irvine (Razeen – Magic Fountain) pulled off a sensational victory in the CN Wadia Gold Cup. Counted among the least fancied runners in the fray, no one read much into the massive lead that Washington Irvine amassed as they turned the first corner of the 2400m race. He fled away from the rest, confounding even the camera men who would be struggling to find him in focus within the frame. He was all alone in front with his jockey NS Parmar doing precious little to halt his extravagant march. The two of them entered the straight by themselves still a good ten lengths ahead. Bling moved to second, Berlusconi was not finding that extra bit, while Hills And Stars was unable to reproduce her Pune form.
Washington Irvine galloped on and even a strong finish from Bling was not enough to dislodge him. He held on by a comfortable margin and shooing his opponents away. The considerably long lead held him in good stead and the others in the fray will rue the fact that they let him build, what proved to be an insurmountable lead. Hills And Stars looked a touch better than she did on D day. However, she failed to show her known brilliance and trainer Padhmanabhan now has a task on hand, as he will have to start from scratch with the potential filly. She was never in the hunt and ended an unimpressive fourth. Astapi did well to end ahead of the Pune Derby winner, but was no match for either the winner or the runner –up.
Ms Maureen Wadia along with Ness Wadia gave away the trophies to the winning connections. Champion Trainer from Kolkata Vijay Singh received the trophy.
The WIRHOA Million saw a three-pronged finish as Star Trainer was not able to extend his lead once they turned for home. Star Future got past Star Trainer easily but was soon challenged by Portrush and Vittoria. In the final 100 meters, the trio was engaged in a pitched battle and Portrush put in a lively finishing effort to surge past between his rivals and score a narrow victory. Star Future and Vittoria finished alongside the winner, each half a length behind.
“It feels nice to see your horses do well and Portrush did exceptionally well more so considering his age (9). All credit to Ms Nazak Chenoy, as she has worked hard on his fitness. Portrush has been consistent and his two runs this season had been forward. I am happy with his performance and congratulate both Nazak and jockey Imran Chisty for a job well done,” said Mr Jaydev Mody, owner of Portrush.
The Committee of the WIRHOA led by its President Shiven Surendranath graced the podium for the presentation procedures. Mr Shiven handed the trophy to Mr Mody. Trainer Karthik G, representing Dr MAM Ramaswamy scored a fine double. He started off on a right note in the first race of the day, as his ward Haunting Fantasy literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Spirit of Mercy, who looked impressive in the paddock, led the field homeward with Haunting Fantasy and favourite Capriole pouncing on him. The trio was abreast at 300 and stuck together all the way to the winning post. Haunting Fantasy was ridden hard in the middle with Spirit of Mercy on the rails and Capriole on the outside. In the last fifty, Spirit of Mercy fought on to keep a slight edge and Haunting Fantasy moved better than Capriole. To the naked eye, it appeared that Spirit of Mercy may have the slightest of edge but the camera eye was spot on and Haunting Fantasy had gotten the bob of the head right.
Karthik’s other winner brought home the Lufthansa-Senator Juvenile Million in great style, flooring her more seasoned rivals with an awesome turn of foot. The daughter of Ace out of Evatina dished out an impressive debut run and her last burst were spine-chilling.
Afrojack shot to the front soon on start and worked up a lively pace and a sizable lead early on, leading a pack of jostling juveniles. Gold Glamour was towards the rear, only two runners behind her. On straightening up, the pack started hounding Afrojack who was going all out to guard his lead. Relic Hunter was closing in and Amazing Desire too was calling on them. Gold Glamour appeared in the final 100 meters and whooshed past them with lightening speed. Her cracking finish was amazing to say the least and she stretched further away from the hapless opponents, tearing away with complete authority. Relic Hunter’s good effort was bettered by a superior filly.
Pesi Shroff saddled a lucrative double with Scarlet Pimpernel and Amadeus. Scarlet Pimpernel (Hold That tiger – Margarita Rita) proved far too superior to the bunch with a sustained gallop in the final furlong. Snow Blaze had runaway to the front and was leading by over eight lengths coming into the straight. However, he started shortening his strides much earlier than one expected and caved in once Scarlet Pimpernel opened throttle. Scarlet Pimpernel took charge at the distance post and was never under threat. He sailed away easily to win comfortably. Enlightenment finished on powerfully pipping Chemin De Fer for the second slot. Incognito put in a poor show and was a far away fourth.
Amadeus did some damage control to his reputation by winning the Mulraj Gokuldas Trophy convincingly, in what from the outset looked a tight race. Batista and Class Apart matched strides to gain the initial upper hand. Amadeus kept tabs on the pair and was followed by Rajasthan Royals and Pure Elation. Orito was tailing the field trailing Silk Cut by just over two lengths.
Amadeus was quick to get past the fighting front-runners and Rajasthan Royals set about in chase. Jockey Zervan was patient with Amadeus and only when the colt was ready, Zervan encouraged him to go for it. Amadeus quickened well and managed to stay ahead even as Rajasthan Royals and a little later Orito started to breathe down him neck. Amadeus held his ground and warded off Orito by half a length, with Rajasthan Royals too finishing well to end a close third.
Risky Business (Hurricane Run – Wow The Critics) scored an impressive victory with Prakash timing his run with precision. Celestial Call opened up a huge lead and even past the 800 meter mark, was more than 10 lengths in front of the field. Risky Business was third just behind Word of Honour the rest following closely with Cypress Point tailing the field, looking too far behind mainly due to the Celestial Call’s massive lead. As they turned for home, Celestial Call was all alone in front and it seemed the rest had a mountain to climb.
That perception changed in seconds when Risky Business was alerted by Prakash. The manner in which he started to devour ground left no doubt that Risky Business will easily scale the mountain even without panting and he did exactly that to the delight of his followers. Risky Business collared the leader at the distance post and then stretched on to win comfortably. Fortune Hunter ran on to end second while Cypress Point, the one who was tailing them all, surfaced well to end a not-so-far away third.
The last race was a disaster for followers of favourites. Oriental Sapphire let down a rather large following as she garnered heavy support backed down to on-money at race time and ended with nothing to show. Diamond Zip led the field homewards and was soon passed by Houdini. Solid Rock tried to match him but failed to do so. Adams Prince and Rajdoot were making headway when Dancing Jenny (Black Cash – Crown Brief) breezed in to make her landing and win the Aerospace Trophy. Dashrath Singh emerged with the Kolse filly from the wider outside and Dancing Jenny simply sped past the crowded front bunch in a jiffy. Houdini was a brave second, while Rajdoot narrowly failed to peg back Adams Prince.